SKANDIA - William H. McAlpine, 65, of Skandia, passed away unexpectedly, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, at his home, in the loving care of his family.
Bill was born Aug. 15, 1947, in Lansing, a son of Herman William and Lillian May (Sharp) Berkhousen, and following their deaths, was adopted and raised by Warren and Irene McAlpine. He grew up downstate and, following high school, graduated in 1965 from the Miller School of Albemarle, a military academy.
Bill was always creative and mechanically inclined, and his first jobs involved mechanic work. He later drove truck, transporting agricultural products, based out of Washington State. In 1974, the family moved to Champion where Bill worked as a heavy equipment operator for the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company.
William H. McAlpine
Throughout his life, he continued to, from time to time, drive truck for the various companies he was employed with. Eventually, Bill became employed with the Upper Peninsula Power Company in 1979 as a heavy equipment operator and then as a truck driver with We Energies, retiring in 2007.
He was a member of the National Rifle Association. Bill was unique and very handy with his hands. All you had to do was show him a picture and he could fabricate it. It was his passion. He enjoyed collecting tractors, his favorites being John Deere and Ford, often entering them in tractor pulling contests. Real enjoyment was found in restoring and keeping the engines in top, running condition, and of course, telling others about his collection.
Bill was generous with his time and seemed to always be in his garage, fixing and tinkering, and looking for an opportunity to mentor his children, grandchildren, and others on various projects and aspects of life. Fishing, hunting, trapping, and camping also consumed his leisure hours, and, with his outgoing personality, he was always available to lend a helping hand whenever needed. He possessed a keen wit and sense of humor and enjoyed a good joke, whether in the telling or the hearing of it. One of his good natured trademarks was funny phrases, nicknaming everyone "slim." One of Bill's other passions was riding his Harleys and socializing with his friends.
Bill is survived by his wife, Diane, whom he married July 25, 1997, in Marquette; a daughter, Becky (Rob) Randall; sons, August "Gus" (Brenda) McAlpine and Aaron McAlpine, all of Escanaba; his grandchildren, Ryan Randall, Jerrika, Brandon, and Mikaila McAlpine; his mother, Irene Karttunen of Oklahoma; sisters, Donna (John) Mann and Betty (Edward) Sedlack of Lower Michigan; several nieces and nephews.
Bill was preceded in death by his father, Warren McAlpine; and his brother, James McAlpine.
The family will receive friends at the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home on Friday, Oct. 12, from 5 p.m. until the time of service at 7 p.m. Friday evening. Rev. Leon Jarvis, Marquette General Hospital chaplain, will preside.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Bay Cliff Health Camp, P.O. Box 310, Big Bay, MI 49808. Condolences may be expressed online at www.swansonlundquistfuneralhome.com.